Oh Give Thanks
During Thanksgiving Sunday we learned the meaning of Thanksgiving. It's taken from the Hebrew word "Yadah" which means "to publicly praise, to give thanks, and to confess." We studied Psalm 100, described as the Psalm of Thanksgiving, and discovered that our thanksgiving to God should not be subdued. Verse 1 says, "Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth." "Shout joyfully" means "to split the ears with sound." Joyful means 'one's heart is laughing" or 'one's eyes are dancing.' Verse two says, "Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing." Serve means "to work and worship." Gladness refers to a spontaneous emotion or extreme happiness which is publicly expressed in some visible and/or external manner. In Luke, there's one person who publicly expressed their gratitude to Jesus for what had happened to him. Luke 17:11-19 records, "While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they were going, they were cleansed. Is your trust in God so strong that you act on what he says even before you see evidence that it will work? Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nice--where are they? "Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has made you well." Not only was this man a leper, but he was considered an idolatrous half-breed by the Jews. Here is an example of a great law of life. In the common tragedy of their leprosy they had forgotten they were Jews and Samaritans and remembered only they were men in need. A common misfortune had broken down the racial and national barriers. Unfortunately, only one leper returned to publicly and unashamedly express his gratitude to God. Like the lepers, we too have been cleansed by faith. How many of us publicly expressed or gratitude? During worship, has the Spirit of God ever asked you to come to the alter and bow down before Him as an expression of gratitude? 1 Thes. 5:19 says "Do not quench the Spirit. "Quench means "to dampen, hinder, repress, as in preventing the Holy Spirit from exerting His full influence." Our thanksgiving to God should no be subdued, it should be unashamedly spontaneous because, "the Lord is good!"